Review: ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum

Published by Christian Ney on 17.10.12
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Technical data / specifications

With ASUS' flagship graphcis card, the Radeon HD 7970 Matrix Platinum, you get a factory overclocked monster with a custom PCB design as well as their formidable DirectCU II triple slot cooler. The manufacturer claims that this baby is about 15 % faster than the reference design, 20 % cooler and 3 times quieter. Thanks to the factory overclocking, binned GPU, custom cooler and reworked PCB design we can kind of believe that.

Looking at the specs, it says a base clock of 1'050 MHz with a boost clock of 1'100 MHz but our card was always running at full 1'100 MHz. For the record the stock designed Radeon HD 7970 runs at 925 MHz and the GHz Edition at 1'000 MHz with a boost of 1'050 MHz. This time factory overclocking has been made also regarding the GDDR5 memory with a clock speed of 1'650 MHz (6'600 MHz effective) against AMD's recommendation of 1'375 MHz (HD 7970) and 1'500 MHz (GHz Edition).

Now looking at the phycsical specifications of the Matrix Platinum version as said before ASUS reworked the PCB, binned the core and used their own GPU cooler. The Matrix Platinum gets a digital power design with no less than 20 super alloy phases while the reference HD 7970 has only an analogic power design with 6 standard phases. You also find a lot of ASUS technology that helps to improve overclocking, power efficiency, noise reduction (less EMI), lifespan and so on. The Matrix Platinum version is powered by the DirectCU II cooler in his Triple Slot version that features two 95mm fans with 9 blades each, three 7mm heatpipes and two 8mm heatpipes. I was too lazy to count the fins and calculate the dissipation surface/power but trust me, it's big.

Meant to be overclocked you will find a lot of cool ROG features. First of all this card has a ROG design aka black n' red as well as a backplate. Almost all components from the PCB except the chokes, four memory chips and caps are all covered by a metal shield. Then you get buttons that allow you to raise/lower the voltage of the GPU in real time, a button that will run the fan at 100 %, some activity LED and a safe mode button. Extreme overclockers will find pll, vmem, vcore headers to plug to their ASUS ROG motherboard as well as voltage reading points and points to short (LN2 Mode, ADJ MVDD, ADJ VDDC1 and R4E).

  Radeon HD 7970 ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DCU II Top Radeon HD GHz Edition ASUS Radeon HD 7970 Matrix Platinum
Chip Tahiti Tahiti Tahiti Tahiti
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 4.31 billion
GPU clock 925 MHz 1'000 MHz 1'000 MHz (Boost 1'050 MHz) 1'100 MHz
Memory 3'072 MB GDDR5 3'072 MB GDDR5 3'072 MB GDDR5 3'072 MB GDDR5
Memory clock 1'375 MHz (5'500 MHz) 1'400 MHz (5'600 MHz) 1'500 MHz (6'000 MHz) 1'650 MHz (6'600 MHz)
Memory interface 384 Bit 384 Bit 384 Bit 384 Bit
Memory bandwidth 264'000 MB/s 268'800 MB/s 288'000 MB/s 316'800 MB/s
TMUs/TAUs 112 112 112 112
Shader Cores 2'048 (1D) 2'048 (1D) 2'048 (1D) 2'048 (1D)
ROPs 32 ROP 32 ROP 32 ROP 32 ROP

Page 1 - Introduction Page 12 - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
Page 2 - Technical Data / Specifications Page 13 - BattleField 3
Page 3 - Preview / Delivery Page 14 - Crysis 2
Page 4 - Test Setup Page 15 - Dragon Age 2
Page 5 - 3DMark 11 Page 16 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
Page 6 - 3DMark Vantage Page 17 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 7 - Unigine Heaven Page 18 - StarCraft II
Page 8 - TessMark Page 19 - Power Consumption
Page 9 - Alien vs Predator Page 20 - BenchMarks and Games Settings
Page 10 - Batman: Arkham City Page 21 - Conclusion
Page 11 - DIRT 2  

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Review: ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum - Graphics cards Reviews AMD - Reviews - ocaholic